“Fasten your seatbelt says the voice

Inside the plane you can’t hear no noise

Engines made by Rolls Royce

Take your choice

Make mine…” * 

…..Our-gate and Kerbside.

When I first heard of this exotic holiday destination from a friend at school it sounded like an idyllic, Lake District village nestling in the valleys of North West England. The boy who shared his travel plans with me smugly pointed out to me however, that it meant…..our gate (the gate outside his house) and kerbside (the edge of the footpath where it met the road). He wasn’t going anywhere for his summer vacation, he was staying at home. 

Not for him, nor me either at that time either, exotic, international travel. Just expeditions and explorations of the locality; whatever was on the doorstep. Don’t extend too much sympathy to me however, for these restrictions that were imposed on me. Some of the best holiday experiences I ever had were spent exploring the very things that were a stones throw away; things I’d see every day, every week.  

I’m looking forward to some ‘down-time’, but I can’t wait to get immersed in other things too. I encourage you to do likewise, maybe by escaping into a good book; fact or fiction, inquiry or escape, maybe getting lost in a good mystery.  How about developing a love of the outdoors countryside and coastal walks, maybe with the dog and visits to the beach or discovering and investigating local histories, temples and places of interest that you walk past and overlook every day.

Take the opportunity to work on your fitness and get some exercise; running or going to the gym, yoga, swimming, aerobics classes or dancing maybe. Expand your personal interests. For me drawing and painting; I hope to spend days on end doing this!  Music is another creative outlet. Whether listening to music, playing an instrument, singing or writing music, on your own or with friends.

Whatever it is that floats your boat, do it with a passion. Keeping a record of the experience is a great idea too. Keep a journal of all of the various things you get up to….well most of them anyway.

We can really stretch ourselves, our minds and bodies, with the experiences available to us within touching distance of home. Of course the whole experience of travel and visiting new places is fantastic, but so too is taking advantage of where we are, where we live.  Whilst a trip to Rome might be genuinely appealing, we don’t have to go to Italy to sample phenomenal ice cream!

Sometimes staying at home and exploring what’s special, opening those doors to curiosity and discovery, can reap a wonderful harvest. So go on, travel somewhere exotic, enjoy the holiday and enjoy Our-gate and Kerbside.

* Majorca by John Cooper Clarke